Willie Nelson – … And Then I Wrote (1962)

WillieNelsonFrontCover1.jpg…And Then I Wrote is the debut studio album by country singer Willie Nelson, recorded during August and September 1962 and released through Liberty Records.

Despite Nelson’s fruitless efforts to succeed with his recording releases with D Records, and after trying with other labels as a singer, he sold several of his original written songs to other artists. After his composition “Family Bible” became a hit for Claude Gray in 1960, he moved to Nashville, where he was signed by Pamper Music as a songwriter. Several of his songs became hits for other artists, including Faron Young (“Hello Walls”); Ray Price (“Night Life”) and Patsy Cline (“Crazy”).

Fueled by the success of his songwriting, he was signed by Liberty Records. During August, Nelson started recording his first album, produced by Joe Allison. The single releases of the album “Touch Me” and “The Part Where I Cry” were recorded on that day in Nashville, Tennessee, while it was completed during September in the recording facilities of the label in Los Angeles, California. The single “Touch Me” became Nelson’s second top ten, reaching number 7 on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles.

In 1958, Nelson released under a contract with Pappy Daily of D Records two records, “Man With the Blues”/”The Storm Has Just Begun” and “What a Way to Live”/”Misery Mansion”. While working for D Records and singing in nightclubs, Nelson was hired by guitar instructor Paul Buskirk to teach in his school. He sold to Buskirk his original songs “Family Bible” for US$50, and “Night Life” for US$150. “Family Bible” turned into a hit for Claude Gray in 1960.

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Nelson moved to Nashville in 1960, but no label signed him. Most of his demos were rejected. Nelson was later signed as a songwriter to Pamper Music with the help of Hank Cochran, who worked for the publishing company owned by Ray Price and Hal Smith. Faron Young recorded Nelson’s “Hello Walls”, and after Ray Price recorded Nelson’s “Night Life”, and his previous bassist Johnny Paycheck quit, Nelson joined Price’s touring band as a bass player. While playing with Price and the Cherokee Cowboys, other of his original songs became hits for other artists, including “Funny How Time Slips Away” (Billy Walker), “Pretty Paper” (Roy Orbison), and, most famously, “Crazy” by Patsy Cline. Nelson signed with Liberty Records and was recording by August 1961 at Quonset Hut Studio. As Nelson later recalled, Cochran was instrumental in getting him signed: “Hank had convinced Liberty’s A&R man for country music, Joe Allison, that I was the next big thing…Allison knew that there wasn’t any way I was gonna change my singing style – and that was fine by him. He understood me. He just wanted me to sing my own songs in my own way.”

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In his 2015 autobiography, Nelson insists that he composed “Crazy”, “Night Life”, “Funny How Time Slips Away”, “Mr. Record Man”, “I Gotta Get Drunk” and “The Party’s Over” in one songwriting jag while living in Houston before finally moving to Nashville: “Within an astounding short period of time – a week or two – I’d written a suite of songs that reflected my real-life situation. I knew these songs were damn good, but at the same time, I didn’t know what to do with them.” Nelson unconsciously borrowed the first few notes of “Crazy” from the Floyd Tillman song “I Gotta Have My Baby Back.”[10] “Hello Walls” was written after Nelson had been hired by Pamper Music. Initially collaborating with Hank Cochran, he was nervous at first, realising “this was creativity on demand,” and later recalling:

First few days found me a little uneasy. I had my guitar, a pencil, and a blank notebook. Hank might throw out an idea, hoping it might spark something in me. When that didn’t work, he might tell me a joke, or I might tell him one, hoping that joking would lead to some kind of song. It didn’t…And one afternoon, after we had just sat around throwing the bull, he said, “I’m going to the office to make a few calls. You work on something by yourself.

WillieNelson01By the time Cochran had returned from his phone call Nelson had written “Hello Walls” and sang it for him. “It’s worth a fuckin’ fortune,” Cochran responded, adding, “Willie, my friend, you just wrote a hit.”

The recording sessions for his first album release, …And Then I Wrote, began in the Nashville studios of Liberty Records. Nelson recorded on August 22–23, starting during the night and lasting until the morning of the following day. Dissatisfied with the results, Allison moved the sessions to the studios of the label in Los Angeles, California, where Nelson was joined by three other stellar guitarists – session leader Billy Strange, Roy Nichols from the Maddox Brothers, and Johnny Western, who had worked with Johnny Cash. During two sessions in September 11–12, Nelson recorded “Crazy”, “Darkness on the Face of the Earth”, “Three Days”, “Funny How Times Slips Away”, “Mr. Record Man” and “Hello Walls”. B.J. Baker led the vocal chorus that attempted to back Nelson, but the singer’s idiosyncratic style gave them problems, as recounted by Nelson biographer Joe Nick Patoski: “The singers got lost trying to follow Willie’s lead vocals until Joe Allsion put up some baffles between Willie and the singers so they couldn’t hear one another. To stay on the beat, the singers followed Johnny Western’s direction.” The liner notes of the album were written by local DJ Charlie Williams, by request of Allison. The albums biggest hit was “Touch Me,” a sad blues done in a slow drag with the rough edges smoothed out by harmony singers and a cool instrumental arrangement that reached the Top 10 and earned Nelson a place on jukeboxes throughput the United States.

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It was during the recording of “Mr. Record Man” that Nelson met his second wife Shirley Collie, with whom he would soon record the duet “Willingly,” a Cochran composition.

The record was released on September 1962. “Touch Me” was released as a single, becoming Nelson’s second top ten single, reaching No. 7 on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles chart. Billboard wrote a review about the single, describing it as an “interesting country-styled tune” with “good” lyrics.  (by wikipedia)

Willie Nelson, with an innocent earnestness & remarkable sincerity unbecoming of Nashville’s production line business model is more in line with the work of Roy Orbison in Nashville (minus the Spector influences) at the same time this was recorded and should be approached as a singer-songwriter record written for the classic late 1950’s Nashville sound (Several of these songs were written in a two week window in Houston, just before he moved to Tennessee). Before Nelson was a singer, he was a remarkable songwriter pitching his songs to Patsy Cline and the likes. His humility and genuine WillieNelson03earnestness made him a popular man among musically inclined talents and producers like Joe Allison, and this August/September 1962 recording of his classic songs penned for others over the previous handful of years along with a couple new songs like Touch Me, intended to find a mass audience (It shot up the country charts to #7).

Allison saw Nelson’s talent outweighed his limitations as a vocalist, especially after having observed the folk movement going on in New York’s Greenwich Village and thought Nelson’s genuine ability to come off earnest, sincere and straight-forward with no nonsense would appeal to a new country audience seeking something closer to the lyrical inventiveness of Hank Williams. This is a wonderful listen, a truly remarkable cache of songs that while formulaic in their instrumentation and chord structure, are brilliant pieces of the human spirit and capture the range of emotions with a new sincerity Nashville wasn’t used to since the late 1950’s. All killer, no filler, a wonderful excursion into the pre-fame, salad and bread days when Willie was trying to make a name for himself behind the scenes. (Johnny Nebraska)

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Personnel:
Willie Nelson – guitar, vocals
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a bunch of unknown studio musicians (including Billy Strange, Roy Nichols and Johnny Western)

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Tracklist:
01. Touch Me (Nelson) 2.13
02. Wake Me When It’s Over (Nelson) 2.50
03. Hello Walls (Nelson) 2,25
04. Funny How Time Slips Away (Nelson) 3.04
05. Crazy (Nelson) 2.52
06. The Part Where I Cry (Nelson) 2.20
07. Mr. Record Man (Nelson) 2.47
08. Three Days (Nelson) 3.00
09. One Step Beyond (Nelson) 2.27
10. Undo The Right (Cochran/Nelson) 2.34
11. Darkness On The Face Of The Earth (Nelson) 2.33
12. Where My House Lives (Nelson) 2.21

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What a long career … 

Earl Scruggs Revue – Super Jammin´ (1984)

FrontCover1.JPGEarl Eugene Scruggs (January 6, 1924 – March 28, 2012) was an American musician noted for popularizing a three-finger banjo picking style, now called “Scruggs style”, that is a defining characteristic of bluegrass music. His three-finger style of playing was radically different from the ways the five-string banjo had been historically played. He popularized the instrument in several genres of music and elevated the banjo from its role as a background rhythm instrument, or a comedian’s prop, into featured solo status.

Scruggs’ career began at age 21 when he was hired to play in a group called “Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys”. The name “bluegrass” eventually became the eponym for the entire genre of country music now known by that title. Despite considerable success with Monroe, performing on the Grand Ole Opry and recording classic hits like “Blue Moon of Kentucky”, Scruggs resigned from the group in 1946 due to their exhausting touring schedule. Band member Lester Flatt resigned as well, and he and Scruggs later paired up in a new group called “Flatt and Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys”. Scruggs’ banjo EarlScruggs01.jpginstrumental called “Foggy Mountain Breakdown”, released in 1949, became an enduring hit, and had a rebirth of popularity to a younger generation when it was featured in the 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde. The song won two Grammy Awards and, in 2005, was selected for the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry of works of unusual merit.

Flatt and Scruggs brought bluegrass music into mainstream popularity in the early 1960s with their country hit, “The Ballad of Jed Clampett” — the theme music for the successful network television sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies — the first bluegrass recording to reach number one on the Billboard charts. Over their 20-year association, Flatt and Scruggs recorded over 50 albums and 75 singles. The duo broke up in 1969, chiefly because, where Scruggs wanted to switch styles to fit a more modern sound, Flatt was a traditionalist who opposed the change, and believed doing so would alienate a fan base of bluegrass purists. Although each of them formed a new band to match their visions, neither of them ever regained the success they had achieved as a team.

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Scruggs received four Grammy awards, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and a National Medal of Arts. He became a member of the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1985, Flatt and Scruggs were inducted together into the Country Music Hall of Fame and named, as a duo, number 24 on CMT’s 40 Greatest Men of Country Music. Scruggs was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts,the highest honor in the folk and traditional arts in the United States. Four works by Scruggs have been placed in the Grammy Hall of Fame. After Scruggs’ death in 2012 at age 88, the Earl Scruggs Center was founded near his birthplace in Shelby, North Carolina, with the aid of a federal grant and corporate donors. The center is a $5.5 million facility that features the musical contributions of Scruggs and serves as an educational center providing classes and field trips for students. (by wikipedia)

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Gosh, I hate writing these posts. This not really an obituary, but it is. This is one of my all-time favorite records. Earl Scrcuggs Revue – Super Jammin’ I bought it originally when it came out – back in 1984, it’s not a new edition to my collection. The songs are wonderful, but what’s most impressive is the sheer number of all-time great musicians who play on it. They likely weren’t all in the same studio at the same, but this record still has what might be the largest collection of A-listers on any type Revue album. They are: Lester’s sons Gary, Steve, and Randy, Jimmy Messina, Kenny Loggins, Jim Keltner, Doug Kershaw, Loudon Wainwright III, Joan Baez, Johhny Cash, Michael Martin Murphy, Alvin Lee, Billy Joel, Willie Hall, Bonnie Bramlett, Waylon Jennings, Charlie Daniels, Leon Pendarvis, Ron Cornelius, Larry Gatlin, Dan Fogelberg, the Pointer Sisters, George McCorkle, Jerry Eubanks, and many others. (by curtiscollectsvinylrecords.blogspot)

This is a criminally underrated album by Earl Scruggs … maybe one of the best Country albums of the Eighties ….

Contains previously released material except 04. + 10.

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Personnel:
Joan Baez (vocals on 03.)
Bonnie Bramlett (vocals on 04., 08.)
David Briggs (piano on 02., 03.)
Kenny Buttrey (drums on 02,, 03.)
Johnny Cash (vocals on 03.)
Ron Cornelius (guitar on 05.
Charlie Daniels (guitar on 05., background vocals on 10.)
Pete Drake (steel-guitar on 06.)
Jerry Eubanks (saxophone on 10.)
Dan Fogelberg (background vocals on 07.)
Larry Gatlin (guitar on 07.)
Willie Hall (drums on 04., 05., 07., 08. 10.)
Teddy Irwin (guitar on 06.)
Waylon Jennings (vocals on 04.)
Billy Joel (piano on 04., 05., 08.)
Bob Johnston (organ on 07.)
Shane Keister (piano on 06. + 10.)
Jim Keltner (drums on 01.
Doug Kershaw (fiddle on 02.)
Alvin Lee (guitar on 04., 05. + 10.)
Jack Lee (organ on 10.)
Mylon LeFevre (background vocals on 10.)
Kenny Loggins (percussion, vocals on 01.)
Jody Maphis (drums on 06., percussion on 08.)
George McCorkle (guitar on 10.)
Roger McGuinn (guitar on 04., 05., 07., 08.)
Jim Messina (guitar, vocals on 01.
Michael Murphey (vocals on 03.)
Leon Pendarvis (organ on 05., 08., piano on 07.)
Pointer Sisters (background vocals on 08.)
Earl Scruggs (banjo, vocals)
Gary Scruggs (bass, vocals)
Steve Scruggs (piano on 06.)
Randy Scruggs (banjo, guitar, slide-guitar, percussion)
Loudon Wainwright III (vocals on 02., 03.)
Tim Wipperman (trumpet on 08. + 10.))
Reggie Young (guitar on 02., 03., 05., 07., 08.)
Rusty Young (dobro, steel-guitar on 01.)

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Tracklist:
01. Banjo Man (Messina) 2.28
02. The Swimming Song (Wainwright III) 2.07
03. Gospel Ship (Carter) 2.41
04. I’ve Got My Mojo Working (Foster) 3.59
05. Bleeker Street Rag (R. Scruggs) 4.56
06. Harley (R. Scruggs) 3.35
07. Rollin’ In My Dreams (Nix) 5.01
08. Third Rate Romance (Smith) 3.29
09. Instrumental In D Minor (E. Scruggs) 2.03
10. Step Out Of Line (G. Scruggs) 3.39

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Chet Atkins – Down Home (1962)

FrontCover1Down Home is a recording by American guitarist Chet Atkins.Down Home is a recording by American guitarist Chet Atkins.
After releasing the smooth pop and easy listening albums Chet Atkins’ Workshop and The Most Popular Guitar, Chet returned to his roots with Down Home. The album peaked at No. 31 and returned Atkins to the Top 40. It includes two of Chet’s signature tunes, “Windy and Warm” and “Trambone”. (by wikipedia)

After the commercial success of Chet Atkins’ 12th 12″ LP, Chet Atkins’ Workshop, which peaked in the pop Top Ten in 1961, RCA Victor Records decided to turn the country guitarist into an easy listening bandleader à la Ray Conniff on his next release, The Most Popular Guitar. But that LP didn’t come close to the sales of its predecessor, and after a holiday collection (Christmas With Chet Atkins) at the end of the year, RCA opted to let Atkins do what he wanted again. Hence, his 15th long-player, Down Home. The contrast from his previous secular release couldn’t have been more dramatic. The scantily clad lass with the come-hither smile on the cover of The Most Popular Guitar was replaced by a front-porch-swing shot of Atkins himself, guitar in hand, a vintage car in the background, and a faithful dog at his feet.

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And the strings that dominated The Most Popular Guitar were replaced by Atkins’ free-picking studio regulars, supporting him on a varied collection that never strayed far in the arrangements from an old-time country feeling, even when a saxophone intruded here and there. “Salty Dog Rag,” the leadoff track, was not the kind of material you’d have heard on The Most Popular Guitar, but it was no doubt closer to Atkins’ taste. The rest of the album, while mixing in a current movie theme (“Never on Sunday”) and a swing era classic (“Tuxedo Junction”), kept doubling back to country styles. And — what do you know? — Down Home outpolled The Most Popular Guitar by 88 places in the Billboard LP charts, returning him to the Top 40, which seemed to indicate that when you let Atkins do what he liked, his fans probably would like it too. (by William Ruhlmann)

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Personnel:
Chet Atkins (guitar)
Floyd Cramer (piano)
Charlie McCoy (harmonica)
Morris Palmer (drums)
Boots Randolph (saxophone)
Velma Smith (guitar)
Henry Strzelecki (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. Salty Dog Rag (Crows/Gordy) 2.11
02. I Am A Pilgrim (Travis) 3.07
03. Trambone (Atkins) 2.21
04. Steel Guitar Rag (McAuliffe) 2.04
05. Little Feet (Atkins) 2.32
06. Blue Steel Blues (Daffan) 2.21
07. Windy And Warm (Loudermilk) – 2:26
08. I Ain’t Gonna Work Tomorrow (Atkins/Louvin) 2.37
09. Never On Sunday” (Manos Hadjidakis, Billy Towne) – 3:01    “The Girl Friend of the Whirling Dervish” (Al Dubin, Johnny Mercer, Harry Warren) – 2:15    “Give the World a Smile” (Otis Deaton, Marshall Yandell) – 2:04    “Tuxedo Junction” (Buddy Feyne, Erskine Hawkins) – 2:07

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Bobby Bare – Folsom Prison Blues (1968)

FrontCover1.JPGBobby Bare (born Robert Joseph Bare on April 7, 1935 in Ironton, Ohio) is an American country music singer and songwriter. He is the father of Bobby Bare, Jr., also a musician. Bare had many failed attempts to sell his songs in the 1950s. He finally signed with Capitol Records and recorded a few rock and roll songs without much chart success. Just before he was drafted into the Army, he wrote a song called “The All American Boy” and did a demo for his friend, Bill Parsons, to learn and record. Instead of using the version Bill Parsons did later, the record company, Fraternity Records, decided to use the original demo done by Bobby Bare. The record reached number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, but they made an error: the singles’ labels all credited the artist as being “Bill Parsons. From 1983 to 1988, Bobby hosted Bobby Bare and Friends on The Nashville Network which featured Bobby interviewing songwriters who sang their hit songs on the show.

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In 1985, Bobby signed with EMI America Records where he scored 3 charted singles, but none of these reached the upper regions of the charts. In 1998, he formed the band, Old Dogs, with his friends Jerry Reed, Mel Tillis and Waylon Jennings. In nearly 50 years of making music, Bobby has made many firsts in country music. Bare is credited for introducing Waylon Jennings to RCA. He is also one of the first to record from many well- known song writers such as Jack Clement, Harlan Howard, Billy Joe Shaver, Mickey Newbury, Tom T. Hall, Shel Silverstein, Baxter Taylor and Kris Kristofferson. In 2006, he recorded a new album after over 20 years, called The Moon Was Blue,produced by his son. He continues to tour today. (by tjscountry.forumotion.com)

This album,from ’68 reveal the restless creativity and refusal to walk the straight country-music line that defined the career of Bobby Bare. He puts his own touch on Bob Dylan’s Blowin’ in the Wind ; Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison Blues ; Bobby Goldsboro’s Autumn of My Life.

If you like this mellow country music … you should listen !

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Personnel:
Bobby Bare (vocals, huitar)
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a bunch of unknown studio musicians

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Tracklist:
01. Folsom Prison Blues (Cash) 2.50
02. Autumn Of My Life (Goldsboro) 3.30
03. Abilene (Gibson/Loudermilk/Brown) 2.13
04. Blowin’ In The Wind (Dylan) 2.57
05. Lemon Tree (Holt) 2.20
06. Try To Remember (Schmidt/Jones) 2.24
07. Silence Is Golden (Brown, Jr.) 2.28
08. Gotta Travel On (Lazar/Ehrlich/Clayton/Six) 2.13
09. When Am I Ever Gonna Settle Down (Large/Lomax) 2.41
10. No Sad Songs For Me (Springfield) 2.24

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Bill Grant & Delia Bell – In England (1980)

FrontCover1Bill Grant and Delia Bell are a bluegrass music duo from Oklahoma. Emmylou Harris has said of Delia Bell: “If Hank Williams and Kitty Wells had married and had a daughter, she would have sounded like Delia Bell.” Grant has been recognized as “Ambassador of Bluegrass Music” by three Oklahoma

Delia Bell was born Delia Nowell on 16 April 16, 1938 in Bonham, Texas. Bell moved to Hugo as a child. She started playing music with her sisters and brother as a child, and began singing in her teens. She married Bobby Bell in 1959.

Bill Grant was born Billy Joe Grant on May 9, 1930, a Choctaw tribal member, and grew up on a ranch near Hugo, Oklahoma. Inspired by the music of Bill Monroe, he took up mandolin.

In 1959, Bell began singing with Bobby’s friend Bill Grant. Bell accompanied herself on guitar, and Bill Grant played mandolin, and Bell sang tenor to Grant’s lead. In 1960, Bell and Grant were regulars on the Little Dixie Hayride radio show on KIHN radio.

When Bill Monroe heard them perform, he invited them to perform at his festivals in Bean Blossom, Indiana. This introduced the duo to a wider audience.

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In the late 1960s, Grant and Bell formed the Kiamichi Mountain Boys (also known as the Bonham Brothers), named after the Kiamichi Mountains near their home.

They recorded more than a dozen albums for their own label Kiamichi Records as well as albums on County Records, Rebel Records, Rounder Records, and Warner Brothers. They toured England and Ireland 11 times during the 1970s.

The Kiamichi Mountain Boys were disbanded in 1980. After that, Grant and Bell worked either worked with the Johnson Mountain Boys or as a mandolin/guitar duo.

Emmylou Harris picked up Bell’s solo album Bluer Than Midnight at a California record shop. Impressed by Bell’s version of Ruth Franks’ song “Roses In The Snow,” Harris recorded it as the title track of her 1980 bluegrass album. In 1982, Harris produced Bell’s self-titled solo album on Warner Bros. Records. One of the songs, “Flame in My Heart,” was a duet with John Anderson. The album reached #35 on the Billboard charts, but Warner Bros. dropped her and others artists from their roster.

During the 1980s, Bell and Grant recorded three albums for Rounder featuring accompaniment and harmonies by members of the Johnson Mountain Boys and Del McCoury. The 1989 album Dreaming collected songs from their Rounder albums.

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Bell and Grant continued to perform as a duo until 2006 when their partnership ended. Grant was diagnosed with a brain tumor which was successfully removed, and he recovered succeefully. In 2007, Grant would began singing on a limited basis with his stepdaughter Amy Patrick.

In 2006, Grant received the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Distinguished Achievement award.

Grant and Bell have each been recognized as a Pioneer of Bluegrass Music by the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Owensboro, Kentucky.

Grant was also inducted in to the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.

From 1969 until 2003, Grant hosted Grant’s Bluegrass Festival on a 360-acre cattle ranch near Hugo. He named the festival site “Salt Creek Park.”

In 1987, Bell and Grant also launched a March Early Bird Bluegrass Show, which was staged annually for almost 20 years (by wikipedia)

And here´s a fine example of their music. Great Bluesgrass and Country Music … full with a lot of sentimental tunes, including a Sundown In Nashville  …

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Personnel:
Delia Bell (guitar, vocals)
Karl Benson (bass)
Bill Grant (vocals, mandolin)
Dave Nutt (guitar, steel-guitar)
Bob Pearce (drums, percussion)
Dave Sheriff (piano, harmonica, guitar)
Drew Taylor (fiddle.mandolin)

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Tracklist:
01. I Know You’re Married 2.28
02. Blue Kentucky Girl 2.38
03. Good Hearted Woman 3.44
04. Troubles 3.03
05. Dim Lights, Thick Smoke 2.33
06. You Win Again 2.22
07. Best Female Actress 2.21
08. When My Time Comes To Go  1.46
09. Crazy Arms 2.24
10. Nothing Can Blow Out The Flame 2.26
11. Stranger In My Home 2.26
12. Don’t Worry 3.17
13. Come Walk With Me 2.34
14. Sundown In Nashville 2.32
15. We Must Have Been Out Of Our Minds 2.10
16. I Know The Time Is Near For Me 2.35

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Jim Reeves – Gentleman Jim (1963)

FrontCover1James Travis Reeves (August 20, 1923 – July 31, 1964) was an American country and popular music singer-songwriter. With records charting from the 1950s to the 1980s, he became well known as a practitioner of the Nashville sound (a mixture of older country-style music with elements of popular music). Known as “Gentleman Jim”, his songs continued to chart for years after his death. Reeves died in the crash of his private airplane. He is a member of both the Country Music and Texas Country Music Halls of Fame. /by wikipedia)

Sweet memories:
My dad had this LP record back in the early 60’s and I recall watching my parents dance to his music. As I got older I fell in love with his music and at one time I owned over 100 of his LP’s… I only have a handful left as I had to let my collection go. But this album was my all time favorite as it has my all time favorite love song… “I’d Fight the World.”  (by Ron G.)

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Personnel:
Willy Ackerman (drums)neer
Floyd Cramer (piano)
Marvin Hughes (vibraphone)
Leo Jackson (lead guitar)
Jim Reeves )vocals)
Velma Smith (guitar)
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background vocals:
The Anita Kerr Singers

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Tracklist:
01. Memories Are Made Of This (Miller/Dehr/Gilkyson) 2.14
02. Roses Are Red (My Love) (Byron/Evans) 2.47
03. After Loving You (Miller) 1.55
04.  Stand In (Robertson/Blair) 2.09
05.  Waltzing On Top Of The World (Courtney) 2.21
06. When You Are Gone (Manuel/Reeves) 2.52
07.  Just Out Of Reach (Stewart) 2.46
08.  I Love You Because (Payne) 2.42
09. I’d Fight The World (Cochran/Allison) 2,48
10. The One That Got Away (Killen/Reeves) 2.29
11. Once Upon A Time (Killen/Reeves) 2.11
12. I Never Pass There Anymore (Howard) 2.19

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Shannon McNally – Small Town Talk (Songs Of Bobby Charles) (2013)

FrontCover1Here´s a wonderful tribute album to the great Bobby Charles:

Robert Charles Guidry (February 21, 1938 – January 14, 2010), known as Bobby Charles, was an American singer-songwriter.

An ethnic Cajun, Charles was born in Abbeville, Louisiana, and grew up listening to Cajun music and the country and western music of Hank Williams. At the age of 15, he heard a performance by Fats Domino, an event that “changed my life forever,” he recalled.

Charles helped to pioneer the south Louisiana musical genre known as swamp pop. His compositions include the hits “See You Later, Alligator”, which he initially recorded himself as “Later Alligator”, but which is best known from the cover version by Bill Haley & His Comets, and “Walking to New Orleans” and “It Keeps Rainin'”, written for Fats Domino.

“(I Don’t Know Why) But I Do” was an early 1960s song that Charles composed, which Clarence “Frogman” Henry had a major hit with, and which was on the soundtrack of the 1994 film Forrest Gump. His composition “Why Are People Like That?” was on the soundtrack of the 1998 film Home Fries.

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Because of his south Louisiana–influenced rhythm and blues vocal style, Charles has sometimes been thought to be black, when in fact he was white.

Charles was invited to play with the Band at their November 26, 1976, farewell concert, The Last Waltz, at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. In the concert, Charles played “Down South in New Orleans”, with the help of Dr. John and the Band. That song was recorded and released as part of the triple-LP The Last Waltz box set. The performance was also captured on film by director Martin Scorsese, but did not appear in the final, released theatrical version. Charles did, however, appear briefly in a segment of the released film—in the concert’s final song, “I Shall Be Released”. In that segment, his image is largely blocked from view during the performance. That song, sung by Bob Dylan and pianist Richard Manuel, featured backup vocals from the entire ensemble, including Charles.

He co-wrote the song “Small Town Talk” with Rick Danko of the Band. “Promises, Promises (The Truth Will Set You Free)” was co-written with Willie Nelson.

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Charles continued to compose and record (he was based out of Woodstock, New York, for a time) and in the 1990s he recorded a duet of “Walking to New Orleans” with Domino.

In September 2007, the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame honored Charles for his contributions to Louisiana music with an induction.
Death

Charles collapsed in his home near Abbeville and died on January 14, 2010. (by wikipedia)

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I don’t like to use the word perfection around music, because life’s beauty is often expressed with imperfection. But for lack of a better vocabulary I have to say this is about as perfect a record as I’ve ever heard. If you enjoy the New Orleans sound – casual and laid-back but at the same time never too casual in terms of musicianship – you may agree with me that this rates album of the year. The songs of Bobby Charles are extraordinary and his mastery has been celebrated for decades. The arrangements with production from Dr. John and Shannon McNally are spot-on, playful, intricate without being obvious, and ideal for these tunes.

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The musicianship, well it doesn’t get any better. Shannon McNally contributes a voice and interpretative gift that was born to sing these songs. Once in a blue moon somebody will make a record that perfectly encapsulates a mood and a feeling, where all the songs stack up just right. I’m thinking, for example, of Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks, Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue, the Stones Exile on Main Street. Small Town Talk does that as well as any record I’ve ever heard – including those just mentioned. This record won’t be for everyone’s taste, mind you. But for those with whom it resonates it might just break your heart, make you laugh, blow your mind, and touch your soul. They say the way to tell if a pot of rice is cooked is to test one grain. So I suggest you listen to a tune or two off of this album. If you like what you discover, you’ll likely love this record. (by Constant Traveler)

In spite of not attaining his initial goal of becoming a successful singer Bobby Charles leaves behind a really rich legacy of timeless pop songs which are still being recorded, and performed today. As a testament to this legacy, have a listen to Shannon McNally’s tribute album, Small Town Talk: (Songs of Bobby Charles) … you’ll love it!

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Personnel:
David Barard (bass)
Alonzo Bowens (saxophone)
Natalia Cascante (violin)
Herman V. Ernest III (drums, percussion)
John Fohl (guitar)
Helen Gillet (cello)
Harry Hardin (violin)
Lauren Lemmler (viola)
Shannon McNally (vocals, guitar on 06.)
Charlie Miller (flute, trumpet)
Jason Mingledorff (saxophone)
Mac Rebennack (keyboards, background vocals)
Ken “Afro” Williams (percussion)
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Luther Dickinson (guitar on 02.)
Vince Gill (vocals on 03., guiar on 10.)
Will Sexton (guitar on 06.)
Derek Trucks (guitar on 05.)
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The Lower 911 Band (background vocals)

Booklet

Tracklist:
01. Street People (Charles) 3.15
02. Can’t Pin A Color (Charles) 3.17
03. String Of Hearts (Charles) 3.53
04. I Spend All My Money (Charles) 2.55
05. Cowboys And Indians (Charles) 4.07
06. Homemade Songs (Charles) 4.11
07. Long Face (Charles) 3.24
08. Small Town Talk (Charles/Danko) 4.07
09. I Don’t Want To Know (Charles) 4.03
10. But I Do (Charles/Gayten) 4.08
11. Love In The Worst Degree (Charles) 3.07
12. Save Me Jesus (Charles) 3.38
13. Smile (So Glad) (Charles) 3.18
14. I Must Be In A Good Place Now (Charles) 3.37

CD1

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BobbyCharles

Robert Charles Guidry (February 21, 1938 – January 14, 2010)